• Important Announcement

    Posted by Jennifer Valera at 1/7/2014
    As many of you know, I am expecting my second child this month. My doctor has decided it would be best for me to stop working until I deliver, so this week will be my last week of teaching before my maternity leave begins. I am very excited to welcome Mrs. Hill, who recently did a fantastic job filling in for Mrs. Ramsfield during her maternity leave, as the substitute during my absence.  Mrs. Hill will teach reading Monday - Wednesday and Mrs. Dolmseth will continue to teach writing Thursday and Friday. I will be out on leave for the remainder of the school year, but I will definitely be back to attend the 8th grade moving up ceremony and other important school events. It has been wonderful working with the 7th and 8th grade students and I know they will continue to make great strides with Mrs. Hill and Mrs. Dolmseth.
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  • Mid Quarter Poetry Test on Tuesday 12/03/2013

    Posted by Jennifer Valera at 11/27/2013
    Students will take a mid quarter test on Tuesday 12/03/13. To prepare for the test students should do the following:
    Review poetry terms definitions in composition book.
    Study notes on lessons about mood, personification, and figurative language.
    Gather all copies of poems we have read in class and have them ready to use on the test.
    Review lessons by clicking on the links below:
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  • Second quarter is all about poetry!

    Posted by Jennifer Valera at 11/19/2013 1:00:00 PM
    Second quarter is well under way and students have been busy reading and analyzing poems. Students should save all copies of poems they read in class and for homework, as they will use these poems when they take the mid-quarter and end of quarter assessments.  If students misplace copies of the poems, they may print new copies here.
    Poems we have read so far:
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  • End of Quarter Projects

    Posted by Jennifer Valera at 10/21/2013 11:30:00 AM
    First quarter ends on Friday, November 1st. Students will wrap up all of their learning this quarter by participating in two important activities:
    1. Socratic Seminar
    Seminar will happen in class on Monday October 28th. Seminar prep assignment is due that day at the start of class.  
    For Socratic seminar students will participate in a whole class discussion about the following question:
    Does power bring out the worst in people?
    It is essential that students fully prepare for the seminar by making sure they have completed reading Anna of Byzantium and they have completed the seminar prep assignment.  Links to the lesson on Socratic seminar and the seminar prep assignment instructions are located below.
    2. Symbolic Character Collage
    Due Tuesday October 29th
    For this assignment students will demonstrate their understanding of a key character in Anna of Byzantium through the use of symbols. For complete instructions and a scoring rubric, please click the link below.
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  • Reading test on Monday, October 21st

    Posted by Jennifer Valera at 10/15/2013 11:30:00 AM
    The second reading test of the year will be on Monday October 21st. This test will be open book (students may use their copies of Anna of Byzantium) but NOT open notes. To prepare for this test, students should complete the following:
    1. Review notes on conflict in literature. To see the PowerPoint presentation used to teach about conflict in class and to access the handout about conflict, click the links below.
    2. Study vocabulary word defintions for chapters 16-20. Students should have definitions for each of these words in their composition books. If they do not, they should use a dictionary to find a definition of each word. A copy of the vocabulary list is available by clicking the link below.
    3. Skim and/or re-read chapters 11-20 in Anna of Byzantium. Review all notes and composition book assignments.
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  • What's happening in class right now!

    Posted by Jennifer Valera at 10/1/2013 10:00:00 AM
    Happy October everyone! Our lovely Washington weather has arrived and the school year is well underway. Here are some important updates:
    1. Students took their first reading test of the year yesterday, and grades for that test will be posted by next week.  If a student scores less than a 2 on either skill that was assessed, he/she may complete the take home retake to improve his/her grade. See the link below for retake instructions.
    2. Over the next several days we will be exploring conflict in literature. Students who miss class or would like to review the lessons on conflict should check out the two links below.
    3. All homework assignments and projects through the end of the quarter are now posted on this website. Please take a look at the calendar to see what coming up. This is a great resource for students who miss class, but it can also be used to get a head start on future work. Just remember, students should never give away events in the novel if they read and work ahead. Don't spoil how the story ends!
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  • First Reading Test is Monday, September 30th!

    Posted by Jennifer Valera at 9/23/2013 10:00:00 AM
    Our first test of the year for reading will be Monday, September 30th. Students should prepare for the test by doing the following:
    - Re-read or skim chapters 1-10 in Anna of Byzantium.
    - Study your notes on the following topics:
    - Character Analysis
    - Main Idea
    - Plot
    - Summarizing
    - Review the the PowerPoint lessons used in class.
    - Review your homework assignments. Many of these will be directly connected to test questions.
    PowerPoint lessons:
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  • Greece & Italy Trip 2015

    Posted by Jennifer Valera at 9/10/2013 10:00:00 AM

    Ms. Ramsfield and I are very excited to lead our first student trip to Europe!!

    All current 7th and 8th grade students are invited to join our trip to Greece and Italy during spring break of 2015.  If you would like more information about the trip, including the itinerary and fees, please check out our tour website at
    If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me. Stay tuned for updates as we get closer to the trip date.
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  • Changes for the New School Year & Handouts

    Posted by Jennifer Valera at 9/9/2013 3:00:00 PM
    Hello parents and students!  
    Another school year is off to a wonderful start. I would like to share a few important changes this year:
    My name has changed. I am now Jennifer Valera and can be reached via email at jvalera@nthurston.k12.wa.us .
    I will be teaching part time again this year, but I have a new teaching partner. We are very excited to welcome Ms. Dolmseth who has had  extensive teaching experience at Chinook Middle School.
    This year I will be teaching reading 3 days a week, Monday - Wednesday. Ms. Dolmseth will teach writing on Thursday and Friday.
    Below you will find links to the first handouts of the year. The first two are a general overview of the course and our expectations. The final handout is the first homework assignment of the year. Students should read the article and underline the sentence or phrase that best captures the main idea of the paragraph. This assignment is due Tuesday 9/10/13.
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  • Welcome Back!

    Posted by Jennifer St. Pierre at 8/26/2013 2:00:00 PM
    Hello students and parents! Welcome back. We are sure to have a wonderful school year full of meaningful learning experiences in English Language Arts. Please check back frequently for updates as we approach the first day of school. For now, enjoy the last few precious moments of summer. :-)
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Last Modified on September 15, 2014